With suitcases packed, instruments strapped down and a full tank of gas, the Bethany band was ready for yet another band tour.
After having traveled to the nation’s capitol last year, Bethany’s concert band stayed closer to home this year as they traveled to smaller towns in central Minnesota and eastern Wisconsin to play at various small schools and churches.
“This year it was nice to play in schools and not be so cramped in front of church altars as in previous years. It was also nice to have more time to sleep in in the morning – more relaxed,” said senior Kathryn Wolf.
“We wanted to hit some of the smaller schools, and boy, was that a revelation. In Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop, they have never had a band visit their school, so it was nice to be able to provide something extra for them to enhance their [music] experience,” said band instructor, Professor Adrian Lo.
Playing at the smaller schools allowed some of the grade schools not only just a concert, but the chance to be a part of the concert where they played a joint piece with Bethany’s band.
“I didn’t get to do a clinic with [Granada-Huntley-East Chain and Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop], but from what I could hear, I thought those students were really quite awesome. There were some real naturals. I could tell that the students were dedicated to the program and they were enthusiastic,” said Lo.
While the tour included stops are the Mall of America and the Milwaukee symphony, it was the moments when the Bethany band got to interact and play in front of kids that were memorable for the band.
“My favorite [school] to play at was Mount Olive. The kids were all really happy to see us, and they were really energetic,” said senior Tarja Manula.
With it being spring break though, for most, it was just the time to relax at the various hotels that over the trip and catch up on sleep that was enjoyable.
“It was nice to have a break between concerts. It made band tour feel more like spring break,” said freshman Jon Wolfrath.
And as the band members catch up on sleep from this tour, time is already being invested in planning the trip for next year – a trip that could possibly go way beyond the Midwest.
“I am trying to keep the dream of going to Spain alive. I have lost a lot of time hemming and hawing about it because I don’t really know how to put something like that together, but I think I have found someone that can help me, so we are going to go full blast now,” said Lo.